Homeless Men – Hard work, hope, results

Why do we at Living Perspectives work with homeless men? It issimple, we saw God at work among these men and we decided to join God in what He was doing.  What is the value of one life transformed by someone who cares?  What is the value of giving up a couple hours of TV to listen to a homeless veteran share his trauma on the battlefield and his stint in a US prison for a felony following his service.

Shelter Residents George and Javier fixing brunch

What is the value of a man of color from the South, articulate, formerly incarcerated, frustrated because background checks ruled out being hired.  Many will say, “Serves them right for getting in trouble.” Other men in our Living Perspectives Tuesday and Thursday bible study, are in the Congregations for the Homeless shelter because of past addictions, divorce, financial problems, or serious health issues (actual not perceived) or some combination.

As a business person involved in leadership with the men, I am not a fan of “social justice” as defined in the post-modern world (sometimes more political than providing real solutions). Justice demanded by God involves giving honor to God, following his play book for living which results in His protection, placing value on every life, helping the prisoners, orphans and widows, taking responsibility, which then allows us to be on the receiving end of His grace and mercy.  Men are grasping these concepts as we study and dialogue…some of the best studies in which I have ever been involved.

The veteran is now rebuilding some family relationships.  The man from the South following a depressing job turn down, a frustrated call to me, and hearing me say “patience and trust” received an offer the next day which he accepted.  He later shared with the men in the study how just being in the group has started him on a new way of thinking and thanked them for their support and prayers.

One of the men, after 2 months in the study, chose to follow Christ with his confession of faith and recently shared with his Alcoholics Anonymous group his newly found life and the ability to forgive people who had harmed him in past years.  His presentation brought some in the audience to tears and led to a meaningful dialogue.  He admits he has a long way to go but is on the uphill climb.

This is a generation of “key words:” Following are some words we hear from the men:  hope, encouragement, dialogue, empathy, accountability, God’s word, grace, forgiveness.

Add to that our work with resumes, interviews, life skills enhancement, commitment, and longer term thinking and there are the ingredients for transition and transformation.

We need some men of God (and couples) to “stand in the gap” with us to disciple these men, perhaps lead a Bible study, share your life journey as a coach and facilitate transformation into their lives with God’s help. If you are moved to explore call me and let’s have coffee or a conversation.  206.295.1820.

Javier, a long time chef overseeing the food line

Paul Tomlinson, President

About Paul

Paul has worked with hundreds of individual clients from executives to recent college graduates related to career transition and life coaching. Paul holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology. He has written a book, How a Man Handles Conflict at Work. Paul founded (1991) the Career/Life Institute and provides coaching, organizational design and career transition serving clients ranging from large organizations to family owned enterprises. He served as a consultant to management teams, and had senior positions for Bank of America, Right Associates and CRISTA Ministries. His ministry outreach includes Poland, Romania, and 11 trips to Ethiopia. He volunteers for Congregations for the Homeless in Bellevue, WA.
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